Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Life Happens in the Midst of Various Fantasies

The usual fantasy

The Idyllic Beach Life Fantasy

When I started planning a journey to Mexico last summer, I fell back into my habitual fantasies, which in this case involve the Idyllic Beach Life. Yes, I told myself, I will find a beautiful little village by the Sea of Cortez, or perhaps on some peaceful bay on the mainland, a place where the water is turquoise and calm and the people are also calm, amiable and brown in tone. I will sunbathe, swim, and eat tropical fruits. I will work on my new book. I will take long walks on the beach and meet interesting, even fascinating, people from many places. I will lie in a hammock. Some beer from time to time. Seafood. And so forth and so on.

Okay. I have been in Mexico since late October. I did put on my purple bathing suit once, when I enjoyed an all too brief visit to La Gruta Spa in San Miguel Allende in November. Now it’s February and I have arrived in Ensenada, where there are beaches. I have not seen them yet. And even when I do (soon I hope) it is still a bit chilly here for swimming. At least that is my experience at the moment. 

Parque Revolution in Ensenada
In Spite of Everything, Real Life Happens

Yes, I am in Ensenada, a city in northern Baja that is just 78 miles from the US border. Ensenada is known as "The Cinderella of the Pacific." Why is that you wonder? I do not really know yet. So far it is seems a fairly pleasant but unremarkable place, at least compared to ancient cities like Guanajuato and Oaxaca, which are so dense with history and culture. Perhaps I have not arrived at that part in the story when the fair maid collecting cinders from the hearth turns into a beautiful princess. That could be it. Time will tell.
A statue of a breastfeeding mother at the entry to the park

Thanks to the good offices of my friend Iridea, I have a small apartment a half block away from Parque Revolution, which is located in an old, relaxed neighborhood. I have a kitchen! This is big news to me after 6 weeks without one.

Right now a young guy with lots of shiny gel on his hair (I still want to take pictures of the haircuts young guys have here because some of them are fabulous) is installing phone and internet service in my new apartment. They were supposed to have installed it yesterday but as Fernanda from Café Cafe down the street said to me, “Welcome to Mexico.” People here are often fatalistic and resigned about how long things can take to get done.
Fernanda at Cafe Cafe

Helpful People!

Speaking of Fernanda, she has been so kind to me. I have spent a lot of time at Café Café since I arrived, using the WiFi, drinking juices, teas, and coffee. 

Fernanda has lived here for many years, and she loves Ensenada. Which is good for me to hear,  because I am still quite unfamiliar with it and as I have said, its charms remain to be seen and known by me. 

David at the vegetable market nearby

Traveling has made me more aware of how many people are always helping me in one way or another. Iridea helped me a great deal by finding me this apartment. Fernanda helped me with her generous spirit and presence. Friends in Oregon and other places helped me via email with love and encouragement.

Also, Joaquin the son of Maria has been very helpful since I arrived. Joaquin as I said is the son of Maria, who is 85, a small, thin elegant woman. They own and reside in the adjacent main house, which is beautifully furnished. 

In the beautiful cafe Squisito, just up the street from my place
I don't think I could have gotten anything done without Joaquin. He speaks English well and he is both sophisticated and kind. He took me to get the electricity turned on in my place, and then the next day we worked on finding Internet and phone service. 

Twice we visited the incredibly surreal Izzi office, where the sound from many excited customer/staff conversations wove the air around us into a crazy static. Even for Mexico, it was wildly noisy. 

Joaquin also gave me a list of Important places including interesting markets, restaurants and cafes. Today I went to the fish market he recommended and got some incredible fish. Swordfish, but not the kind we are used to in the US. Very different. 

I bought some delicious bread at the bakery on his list and some hard-to-find food items at a particular market he suggested I would like. I still haven't gone to the restaurant around the corner whose food and atmosphere he assured me I would love. I am tired of dining out alone and plan to do that with a new friend. I am in the process of making new friends of course. I met a wonderful woman last Friday, and will probably get together with her again later this week. She has lived here for over 20 years, and I like her a lot. She has both warmth and character. I am having coffee tomorrow morning with another woman, who is a writer and healer. She is just moving into town from Punta Banda, the peninsula south of Ensenada where many US expats cluster.

I did have a meltdown yesterday afternoon, but it didn't last too long, fortunately. During the meltdown, I told myself I couldn't stand it here another minute in Mexico. I was very frustrated about my inability to understand or speak Spanish. I was feeling very out of place. I just wanted to fly right back to Oregon, the sooner the better. 

Wouldn't it be nice I thought to buy a mobile home in Wingspread Park in Ashland, and live there with my friend Louise, or maybe Lois? I was picturing decorating it, and starting a garden in the yard next to the mobile home. Idyllically Living with a Friend fantasy.

I have to laugh at myself at times. Fairly often in fact. Well, who knows? That Wingspread fantasy might happen some day, or it could be just another fly-by-night fantasy, like the Idyllic Beach Life, which of course could also happen. Many things are yet to be revealed. And so it is, opening up every moment.

"On my last birthday I was ninety-three years old. That is not young, of
course. In fact, it is older than ninety. But age is a relative matter. If you continue to work and to absorb the beauty in the world about you, you find that age does not necessarily mean getting old. At least, not in the ordinary sense. I feel many things more intensely than ever before, and for me life grows more fascinating

1 comment:

  1. Fantasies are great fun. I used to have one where I'd run away to Taos, NM. I didn't take it very far with it as frankly that's an expensive place to live but it does have (or did my last time there) the right energy for what I'd want. I am not much for beaches and mountains are more my thing.

    We have used our little vacation trailer (26') and I've thought I could live happily in it. With pop-outs, they are bigger than they used to be and all the RV parks we visited had their own interesting aspects. The bigger problem for me would be the cats would hate it as they can't be outside in such places and they love their fenced yards :)